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  • Abstracts

Coastal & Marine Communities

Metrics to Assess Ecological Condition, Change, and Impacts in Sandy Beach Ecosystems. 2014. Schlacher, T. (School of Science and Engineering, The University of the Sunshine Coast, Q-4558 Maroochydore, Australia,, D. Schoeman, A. Jones, J. Dugan, D. Hubbard, O. Defeo, C. Peterson, M. Weston, B. Maslo, A. Olds, F. Scapini, R. Nel, L. Harris, S. Lucrezi, M. Lastra, C. Huijbers and R. Connolly. Journal of Environmental Management 144:322–335.

Schlacher et al. have given coastal managers and conservation practitioners a handy guide that is scientifically-based, cost-effective, and designed for non-specialist use. Typically, beach management is concerned with human interest first (development, tourism, and human health) and seldom on ecosystem health of the non-human shoreline community. The most common environmental issues that are addressed include: erosion, fishing, habitat loss, pollution, recreation, and wildlife conservation. These are broad categories for a manager to address and they all require baseline inventory work and long-term monitoring after restoration. Smaller budgets make prioritizing this work critical. This study identifies the four most cost-effective and biologically meaningful assessments that coastal managers can use: 1) bird population surveys; 2) shoreline species’ breeding and reproductive surveys (especially birds and sea turtles); 3) population studies of dune and beach vertebrates (not just birds and turtles); and 4) overall beach community diversity and species richness of all living organisms. These assessments were also practical and had broad public appeal, which made funding and support more likely.

Classic Paradigms in a Novel Environment: Inserting Food Web and Productivity Lessons from Rocky Shores and Saltmarshes into Biogenic Reef Restoration. 2014. Fodrie, F. (Institute of Marine Sciences, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 3431 Arendell Street, Morehead City, NC 28557,, A. Rodriguez, C. Baillie, M. Brodeur, S. Coleman, R. Gittman, D. Keller, M. Kenworthy, A. Poray, J. Ridge, E. Theuerkauf and N. Lindquist. Journal of Applied Ecology 51:1314–1325. doi: 10.1111/1365–2664.12276

Reef reclamation is a field that has both ecological and economic value, and as such, has received a lot of attention. Reefs and other coastal ecosystems act as storm and climate buffers, water purifiers, fish nurseries, and shoreline stabilizers. Practitioners working in tidal systems often work out of instinct and personal observation, not ecological theory. Fodrie and colleagues argue that intertidal paradigms have been ignored in practice and in the literature and are critical to identifying ‘vertical hotspots’ for shellfish restoration. By experimenting across a tidal gradient (from shallow, sub-tidal to mid-intertidal) with two sizes of man-made reefs, they observed natural settlement, survivorship, growth and interspecific interactions (predation and competition) over time. Initial settlement rates were best in the deep sub-tidal reefs, but survival and abundance was greatest on the shallow intertidal reefs a year after settlement by more than an order of magnitude. The team concludes that vertical gradients in predation, competition, and disturbance cannot be ignored in reef restoration.

Economics & Ecosystem Services

Is Environmental Management an Economically Sustainable Business? 2014. Gotschol, A., P. De Giovanni (Operations Management Department, ESSEC Business School, Avenue Bernard Hirsch, B.P. 105, 95021 Cergy Pontoise, Paris, France, and V. Esposito Vinzi. Journal of Environmental Management 144:73–82.

“Green” business seem to be popping up everywhere, or existing companies are greenwashing their images to appeal to environmentally-minded consumers. Some business managers embrace it, while others dismiss it or excuse it away. “It’s too costly.” “Start up is cost-prohibitive.” “We won’t turn a profit.” These are typical concerns of business investors and owners. Yet business managers and economists [End Page 111] overwhelmingly agree that incorporating environmental management into any business model is sound practice if not critical to long-term survivorship. This research, led by Gotschol, surveyed 1400 Italian business managers about their company’s engagement in environmental management (EM) to understand the interaction between environmental and economic performance (EP). They found a reciprocal positive influence: EM had a positive impact on EP and EP had a positive impact on...


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